All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

201

Rob Brown: Crown Trunk Root Funk

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
One-off assemblages can be hit or miss affairs, but so powerful was saxophonist Rob Brown's ensemble at the 2006 Vision Festival that it was deemed essential that they were brought into the studio.

With his carefully controlled use of harmonics and split tones, allied to a quicksilver inventiveness, Brown is one of the most instantly recognizable voices in free jazz today. In pianist Craig Taborn Brown has found a like-minded spirit averse to the obvious route. Taborn's electronics contribute one novel addition, but more significant is Detroit drummer Gerald Cleaver putting the funk, albeit fractured and abstracted, into the title. Anchoring and driving the band is the venerable bassist William Parker, a long time associate of Brown's.

Brought together to explore areas not covered in his previous work, the quartet prospect seven Brown originals, traversing a lot of ground, from the urgent funky undertow of the opener "Rocking Horse" to the brooding ambient soundscape of "Sonic Ecosystem." On the latter, Taborn switches between the interior of the piano and skittering electronics, punctuated by Cleaver's clattering percussion, while alto and arco bass repeat a long unfurling unison line over the alien terrain. Throughout pieces shift deliciously in and out of focus, suddenly leaving the listener suspended amid spirited free interplay, before returning to Brown's bittersweet themes. The high point is the closer "Worlds Spinning" where the romantic elegiac melody evokes a detached observation of earthly travails, drawing forth inspired solos, with a lovely passage towards the end where Brown's altissimo intermingles in the upper register with Parker's bowed bass. When everything clicks, this rewarding set delivers a visceral punch not normally associated with the saxophonist, perhaps a new seam he was looking to mine.

Track Listing: Rocking Horse; Clearly Speaking; Sonic Ecosystem; Ghost Dog; Exuberance; Lifeboat; Worlds Spinning.

Personnel: Rob Brown: alto saxophone; Craig Taborn: piano, electronics; William Parker: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Title: Crown Trunk Root Funk | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Unknown Skies

Unknown Skies

Rogueart Records
2011

buy
 

Natural Disorder

Not Two Records
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Plus One CD/LP/Track Review
Plus One
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "Backstage Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Backstage Pass
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Nahnou Houm" CD/LP/Track Review Nahnou Houm
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Trane" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Triangulum" CD/LP/Track Review Triangulum
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "The Big Beat" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Beat
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "New Life" CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017